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Did I do the right thing? -- boarding issue

I couldn’t even finish reading the original description in the first post because almost any one of the items on that list would have had me arranging to move my horse immediately. The whole list together cumulatively was more than my brain could handle.

Move your horse as soon as you can. Please.


Well, let’s put aside all the physically dangerous things that they are doing with your baby horse, which would have me loading up my trailer and going anywhere else. I had a friend who bought a 4 yr old OTTB and people at the barn started treating him like a puppy – taking him for unauthorized walks, feeding him treats, etc. He got super spoiled and started to push people around to the point where he was dangerous. That SOB reared at me more than once when he was turned out with my horse. Not a playful rear, but an aggressive one.

This does not sound like it will end well so I’d advocate moving ASAP.


I have actually given them a ton of guidance (and my labor/time) getting their property set up, I pull my fair share of weight with chores, got their horse on the same expensive feed as Mare and bought enough for both horses, set them up with the county extension office, arranged for my farrier – the nicest in the area – to take them on as clients when the farriers they were using previously were absolutely horrible, have helped with their horses with both behavioral and medical issues, etc.

The dynamic is really weird because I am so tense and anxious over their carelessness but don’t really feel like I can assert myself like I normally would because (1) I’m not paying board and we don’t have a contract, stupid of me, (2) we were/are friends, (3) I am in my 20s and they are the same age as my parents, and (4) I have tried to avoid outright telling them what to do or giving them too much unasked for advice because I already do a lot for them and have tried not to be overbearing.

FWIW when I told our previous BO that I was leaving to take Mare to their property, she said good luck, they are the type to YouTube things over getting a trainer or listening to anyone’s advice and think they know better than the professionals. That BO definitely had her own issues but I think she clocked them correctly.


You are “paying board”. You have put on sweat equity bought feed etc etc. move your horse yesterday


Well, darn, you tried, I just didn’t get that impression from the post. I totally get where you are coming from though! It’s super tough when the dynamic isn’t clear.

Live and learn, as we all do, and trust me you won’t get yourself so deep into a situation like this again! I’ve learned that personally I don’t want to work off board or do trades or whatever, I’d rather just pay the going rate and have super clear boundaries. But I had to go through the “great arrangement, too good to be true” situations a few times to decide to pay with my wallet instead of my sanity.


I asked Barn C this morning if I could move Mare over this weekend since they are leaving her alone otherwise and pay prorated board for September even if the stall isn’t available until October. BO said she would ask her husband and get back to me. They seem like nice people and are solidly horse folk (boarding barn, husband is a farrier, own a transportation business) so I think they will understand and I’m hopeful they’ll say yes.


Yes, that’s what makes this even worse lol. Literally every single handshake agreement I have had with horses has crashed and burned about as quickly and spectacularly as this one has. I asked for a contract even if they didn’t want board and the wife told me, “we won’t steal your horse and you won’t sue us, deal?”. I laughed it off at the time but have been uncomfortable since she said that and my fears have only been confirmed!


Deflected. Diverted. Made it into a joke, with some personality and charm.

She got what she wanted. You got nothing you asked for.

No obligations, no boundaries, nothing in writing. She’s good at this.


Ignoring all the other drama…

It is possible, you just have to make it happen.
If your horse does not handle being alone well, you really have no other choice.

Offer to pay extra.


I hope it works out for you! As someone else said, offer to pay extra. It will be less expensive than having an emergency vet visit.

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MOVE ! Today !



Barn C comes to get her tomorrow at 2pm! Thank you to everyone.


Great news! Whew!

Totally great! Your horse (if she knew the whole back-story) would thank you!


So glad to hear this! I read through the thread gnawing on my fingernails with anxiety, LOL! Whew!


Yay !!! Happy dance !!! :smile:

You’ll have to let us know how your sort-of friends react to this. They may handle it with a shrug. Or they may be outraged that you took their free horse away. Those are my two guesses. :grin:

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Thank God! Good for you for trying to help out friends, and good for you for having the courage to do the hard work to protect your horse. I have learned first-hand, and watched many people learn that the least expensive option in any situation is usually the worst option. Please take this valuable lesson with you, and continue to follow your instincts. Your horse is lucky to have you!

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Yup. You can’t change oblivious ignorant idiots, especially if they have any authority over you (like they are older or are doing you a favor). You can only extricate yourself and your horse, hopefully without offending them.


Excellent! Good job!

Sooooooo relieved to hear this!

Get out with grace, don’t bad mouth them to anyone, “the situation just wasn’t working for my mare. I’m excited to be here!”, and enjoy your newfound peace of mind. Hurray!